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Appeal for new Chair of Race Equality and Diversity Forum

After a successful six years as Chair of the Race Equality and Diversity Forum, Prof Kevin Hylton plans to step down and is offering support to help the next Chair take on this important role at a key time for Leeds Beckett University.

Professor Kevin Hylton

“I will continue my work as Head of the Research Centre for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Patron for the Equality Challenge Unit. I have also had the pleasure of being part of the group that brought the first Professor of Race and Education, Professor Shirley Tate, into the School of Education”, said Prof Hylton.

The Race Equality and Diversity Forum will continue its successful annual Race Lecture Series, contribute to the Leeds Beckett events calendar, and escalate concerns such as issues related to grievance and disciplinaries, while overseeing ongoing issues around structure and inclusion. The Forum also works closely with the University Race Champion, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Phil Cardew.

Prof Hylton said: “I have been Chair of the Forum since 2011 and feel that it is stable, dynamic and in a sound position to push on, especially in light of the Race Equality Charter Mark Action Plan and an open call for colleagues to contribute to its five key strands of Curriculum, Research, Staff Experience, Student Experience and Widening Participation. I also see it as important for others to have the opportunity to work across university structures to effect change”.

The Race Equality and Diversity Forum Chair has a nominal 20 hours associated with it. It is expected that the Chair will sit on the university Equality and Diversity Committee, the Equality Chairs’ forum, and the Race Equality Charter Self-Assessment Team. Contact Professor Kevin Hylton for further information: K.Hylton@LeedsBeckett.ac.uk

Colleagues are invited to Race Forum meetings and the next one will be on 22 May, 12.30pm Rose Bowl 308.

Read more about Prof Hylton’s views on race equality from a recent podcast on Unconscious Bias for the Sport and Recreation Alliance with Dr A.J.Rankin-Wright:

The Sport and Recreation Alliance believe that the issue of lack of diversity can be put down to unconscious bias. As in education, it is also a popular view that sport is a meritocracy. Though what is not in doubt is the lack of Black leaders and coaches making their way through education or player pipelines to become the next generation of senior leaders and administrators. In the podcast, we argue that institutions need to be wary of the idea of unconscious bias as a strategy to combat racial discrimination and disparities. Many organisations and individuals see it as an issue but by itself can detract from the institutional responsibilities of organisations or sports where racially biased individuals reside. So, what we see happening in sport, and elsewhere, is:

  1. The identification of racism/racial bias as an issue
  2. Individuals identified as requiring racial bias training/awareness
  3. Racism/racial bias left at the level of the individual
  4. Organisational systems/structures that reproduce racial discrimination left untouched

Thus, we argue that, unconscious/Implicit bias is often used as a reason for the lack of diversity in sport organisations yet unconscious bias is purely a state of mind, a form of prejudice. Unconscious/implicit bias lead to discrimination. Significantly, these issues are not isolated in sport but find expression in other sectors like higher education.

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